Gurtler Update on Corona Virus COVID-19 and Proper Laundering and Sanitation Methods
March 10th, 2020
Beginning in December 2019, and continuing through today, the world has been facing another new and not previously seen microbial pathogen. This viral pathogen, named Coronavirus 2019-nCoV or “Covid-19", emerged out of China and has been spreading across the globe. Effective the week of March 9, 2020 the World Health Organization has declared this viral spread a global Pandemic. The emergence and spread of the virus, coupled with media sensationalism has instilled a degree of concern and panicked behaviors which is seldom seen with annual viral diseases, including such viral disease as Influenza Flu.
Gurtler continues to actively monitor this emerging contagion since it was first identified in Wuhan China. While much remains unknown about this virus' communicability, pathogenicity and treatment regiments; there is much which is known about its susceptibility to inactivation. Rather than attempting to capitalize on sensationalism and hysteria, Gurtler is following the science as it relates to:
- Laundering protocols
- Environmental cleaning
- Hand hygiene and personal practices
This new viral infection/disease is a very fluid and active field of microbiological science and is being studied globally. We know that the normal laundry process will effectively remove and/or degrade the virus. This is due in part to the Coronavirus family being an enveloped virus, and the relative ease by which enveloped virus are inactivated. The CDC has indicated that no extraneous precautions or processing steps are required specific to laundering, and this recommendation has been summarized in Gurtler Technical Bulletin TB-034, here. Included in the Gurtler Technical Bulletin are links to various association communications for your added reference.
Proper laundering of textiles is to a level where the vegetative bacteria are removed, and to a point where soils are removed, then it is expected aerosolized viral secretions would also be removed. Upon review of additional resources, including microbiology & disinfection text documentation, Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses and are the easiest form of microbe to “kill." As referenced previously, if the proper laundry process is followed, you are removing/killing Staphylococcus and there is no reason that you would leave behind sufficient virus to cause disease transmission. As with all disease, the critical key is to break the chain of infection: eliminating the potentially effective dose of pathogen.
In regard to hard surface sanitizing/disinfecting, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) follows a similar approach of following the science. The EPA's list of Disinfectants for Emerging Pathogens (List N) was recently released, which is a list of suggested disinfectants/cleaners suitable for use in meeting the housekeeping and environmental cleaning goals when addressing this new Coronavirus.
Gurtler's Mint Disinfectant Plus hard surface EPA-Registered product is both on this list and carries a specific claim of inactivating a member of the Coronavirus family. Reference Gurtler Bulletin TB-035 here.
Gurtler continues to monitor the spread of this virus, and the recommendations for meeting its containment and control. Gurtler is committed to continuing to lead the way, in partnership with customers/associations, in validating the efficacy of laundering programs.Keep your business and customers safe this winter.
Winter months can be hazardous, so business owners should keep their establishment safe by implementing a few simple practices. It's a good way to avoid risk and injury to customers as well as employees. Here are three great practices to keep a safe work
1. Use salt to remove ice at entry points. Spread salt in the morning before the start of business to give the salt time to melt ice. Be sure to keep a bucket handy near all entry points for both customers and employees
2. Keep hard floors like vinyl and ceramic dry. Wet floors can lead to slips and falls. All weather mats are a great way to absorb water, as well as mud and salt, that can be tracked in by foot traffic. It's also a good idea to keep a mop in a convenient location to wipe up any excess water not captured by mats.
3. Watch for standing water. When salting melts ice and snow, be sure to squeegee away the puddles, especially at the end of the day, or they will form an ice slick by morning. Keep a squeegee in your tools.
By keeping an eye on the weather and conditions, business owners can keep a safe workplace through the winter.